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#532814 - 14th Jun 2011 8:41am Near to Revolution
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7826
Loc: tranmere
The Liverpool transport strike of a hundred years ago, obviously had an effect on Wirral and the rest of the country. If anyone is not aware of this and what took place, the link is a good read and has excellent educational value

http://www.btinternet.com/~m.royden/mrlhp/students/transportstrike/transportstrike.htm
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#532821 - 14th Jun 2011 9:30am Re: Near to Revolution [Re: bert1]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Thanks for that, Bert; I didn't know anything about it. The link is most interesting.
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#532953 - 14th Jun 2011 4:08pm Re: Near to Revolution [Re: chriskay]
starakita Online   content

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my other half has done a lot on this hes given a couple of talks about it
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#533039 - 14th Jun 2011 6:46pm Re: Near to Revolution [Re: starakita]
Helles Offline
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Registered: 28th May 2010
Posts: 887
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Has this site covered the Birkenhead riots of the thirties at all?

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#533046 - 14th Jun 2011 6:53pm Re: Near to Revolution [Re: bert1]
poodlepup Offline
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Thanks Bert, another great link provided.
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#533052 - 14th Jun 2011 6:58pm Re: Near to Revolution [Re: Helles]
bert1 Offline

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Originally Posted By: Helles
Has this site covered the Birkenhead riots of the thirties at all?


Not sure Helles, may have been touched on somewhere, was it the means test law or something like it.
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Don't send Jesus,
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#533124 - 14th Jun 2011 8:37pm Re: Near to Revolution [Re: bert1]
Helles Offline
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Registered: 28th May 2010
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Originally Posted By: bert1
Originally Posted By: Helles
Has this site covered the Birkenhead riots of the thirties at all?


Not sure Helles, may have been touched on somewhere, was it the means test law or something like it.


Yes that was it. During the depression years. They tried to cut the very small benefits that people got. Each town was responsible for their own benefits system and Birkenhead were particularly brutal with the cuts. People rioted and used the railings from Birkenhead park as weapons. I believe not a window was left intact at the Queens Pub.

The protestors decided to march up to Prenton where one of the main councillors lived supposedly to peacefully protest and the police were very violent and quite a number of heads were bashed in. A number of people were jailed for considerable periods and allegedly many were stitched up.

I read a book about it some years back but can't remember the name of it. Interestingly I was talking about it to a work colleague at the time and he said his father was jailed for looting. Evidently many shops went in and of course things like fags were taken. Again the police were particularly ruthless and smashed their way into peoples houses and in some cases planted goods in them.

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#533164 - 14th Jun 2011 9:05pm Re: Near to Revolution [Re: Helles]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7826
Loc: tranmere
I remember my mother who was born in 1918 telling me about it, she would know about that being from that area and would have been old enough to have memories of it. I've also heard from people of that generation what exactly the means test was when used to its full extent, can't verify it but have to take their word for it, stories of benefits men calling on homes of the unemployed telling them to sell the likes of a sideboard because it wasn't needed.
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God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


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#533206 - 14th Jun 2011 10:24pm Re: Near to Revolution [Re: bert1]
jimbob Offline

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Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
I worked with a bloke and his brother was one of the rioters who was jailed. He told me that the police that where used to break the riot and the follow on where not are own local police force. The bloke who i worked with actual lived close to chriskay's parents in the 50s.
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#533276 - 15th Jun 2011 6:28am Re: Near to Revolution [Re: jimbob]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7826
Loc: tranmere
No wonder my mother remembered it, she lived opposite the Morpeth Buildings.
Extract from Nerve.

A few days later all hell was let loose when police raided the workers’ tenement, Morpeth Buildings, and in the words of one victim:

The screams of the women and children were terrible. We could hear the thuds of blows from the batons. Presently our doors were bashed. Twelve police rushed in, knocking my husband to the floor, splitting his head open, kicking him as he lay. I tried to prevent them hitting my husband. They began to baton me all over the body. As they hit me and Jim, the children were screaming and the police shouted, ‘Shut up, you parish-fed barstard’.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#533286 - 15th Jun 2011 8:32am Re: Near to Revolution [Re: bert1]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 435
Loc: Cheshire
The book about the Birkenhead means test riots is called Idle Hands, Clenched Fists: The Depression in a Shipyard Town, by Stephen F. Kelly. It's available on Amazon.

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#533360 - 15th Jun 2011 11:33am Re: Near to Revolution [Re: yoller]
Helles Offline
Wise One

Registered: 28th May 2010
Posts: 887
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: yoller
The book about the Birkenhead means test riots is called Idle Hands, Clenched Fists: The Depression in a Shipyard Town, by Stephen F. Kelly. It's available on Amazon.


That's the one. I recommend it to everyone. Disgusting way to treat human beings.

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#533367 - 15th Jun 2011 11:44am Re: Near to Revolution [Re: Helles]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7826
Loc: tranmere
Stephen F. Kelly in ‘Idle Hands, Clenched Fists: The Depression in a Shipyard Town’ says:


After a lull on Sunday lasting most of the daytime hours, serious rioting returned to Birkenhead’s streets that evening. Even with their reinforcements, the police could not contain the situation. Around Conway Street and the docks, the working- class streets of back-to-back terraced houses had become virtual no-go areas for the police, though they battled to gain a foothold. Then, in a determined effort to seize control, the police began to terrorize the residents. They descended on the area in lorry loads, blocking off entrances and invading private homes, often coming through the back doors which were usually unlocked. They claimed that they were searching for goods from the shops that had been looted. Their invasion led to many allegations of brutality against them. (p74)

…Serious allegations about police conduct were repeated in court when the 31 people arrested over the weekend came up before the bench. In court the Chief Constable promised to initiate an inquiry into the allegations but, if such an inquiry was ever made, its findings were never published. (p75)

…Monday 19th September was to be an important day for Birkenhead’s thousands of unemployed and their families. After a weekend of extensive rioting, they were in no mood for back- peddling or fudging by the Public Assistance Committee. The PAC knew this; so did the Conservative Council and the Chief Constable. For their part, the unemployed knew that they had to keep up the pressure. This time Joe Rawlings wasn’t there to advise them. Leo McGree had been arrested in Liverpool and was in detention, accused of inciting a riot. Other known members of the Communist Party had been seized by the police in dawn swoops. But there were still some political activists able to encourage and organise the day’s demonstration. (p77)

…Shortly after the meeting of the Public Assistance Committee had started, a deputation was allowed inside the PAC offices. The Committee had agreed to receive a deputation from the Birkenhead branch of the NUWM. At first it seemed that the members of the deputation were destined to sit through another depressing session, as resolutions were re-submitted and left to lie on the table once more. When success finally came, it happened unexpectedly and almost casually. Item 39 on the agenda proposed that the weekly scale of relief for able-bodied single men be increased from 12s to 15s 3d, and for single women to 13s 6d. It was proposed and agreed almost without discussion, and submitted for ratification to the next Council meeting. The members of the NUWM deputation were informed that, having been passed by the PAC, the Council’s approval of the increases was assured.
A genuine victory had been won. The increases would help to make life significantly easier for those without work. The rise worked out at more than 25 per cent and represented a considerable improvement. At the PAC meeting it was also announced that work schemes costing £170,000 would be introduced that winter to help alleviate unemployment, and this would mean jobs for many. In addition, the Council was committed to lobbying the Government for an end to the Means Test. members of the NUWM deputation were informed that, having been passed by the PAC, the Council’s approval of the increases was assured.
A genuine victory had been won. The increases would help to make life significantly easier for those without work. The rise worked out at more than 25 per cent and represented a considerable improvement. At the PAC meeting it was also announced that work schemes costing £170,000 would be introduced that winter to help alleviate unemployment, and this would mean jobs for many. In addition, the Council was committed to lobbying the Government for an end to the Means Test. (pp79-80)
_________________________
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Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


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